Soundtrack Recap: Expectations

By Daniel Hart
Published: December 18, 2019 (Last updated: December 16, 2023)
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Netflix series Soundtrack Season 1, Episode 3 - Track 3: Sam and Dante


Soundtrack Season 1, Episode 3, “Track 3: Sam and Dante” explores Sam’s expectations he set himself and Dante’s adjustment since leaving prison.

This recap of Netflix series Soundtrack Season 1, Episode 3, “Track 3: Sam and Dante” contains spoilers. You can read the recap of the previous episode by clicking these words.

Episode 3/Track 3 begins with Sam breaking into “Deep in a Dream” by Frank Sinatra while imagining embracing Nellie in a dance routine. Reality hits and he’s sat at a table eating dinner on his own with a candle burning brightly.

In the next scene, Sam is calculating his bills. His Auntie says he may have to consider moving out and advises he speaks to Nellie’s mother Margot. It’s tense between Dante and Sam after the incident in the last episode. Sam tells Dante about the seriousness of the situation and that Barry has a caseworker.

Sam attends a case assessment; Joanna has kindly reported the incident as “random and isolated” when Barry walked home on his own. Outside of the assessment, Joanna asks Sam if he can increase his income and also states that Dante cannot be alone with Barry. Sam slyly finds out if she is a “Mrs, Ms or Miss”.

It goes from bad to worse for Sam — his Lyft account has been suspended after a customer complained of him having his kid in the car. He reapplies for the job he got fired from, and he surprisingly gets it, with his boss making a snide remark about “HR diversity”. His colleagues present him with a wonderful opportunity, but Sam is determined not to mess up again.

Episode 3 then focuses on Dante waking up with De’Andra to “Morning View” by Towkio. In reality, Dante is waking up on his own, looking at messages to De’Andra who is not responding. He tells his sister that he wants to do something special for her since she’s been so good to him since he has left prison.

Dante is struggling to adjust to the real world post-prison in Soundtrack Season 1, Episode 3. All the job interviews go against him due to his criminal record getting in the way. And then it gets worse; at Barry’s soccer game, Sam tells Dante to leave. Luckily, Dante’s mother sorts him out a job as a line cook.

The next day De’Andra comes over with cake, but they end up arguing. It takes a while for De’Andra to say what she wants to say, and Dante expresses how difficult it has been to adjust to the outside world. He says he is lucky to have her. De’Andra quickly responds with, “I’m married”.

Back to Sam and he is on a road trip with Nellie, and the scene breaks into “Simplethings” by Miguel. They reach their retreat and Nellie shows Sam a surprise — there’s a piano inside the house. Sam is clearly frustrated on this weekend break, finding reasons to go out to get food, and at night, despite having cute couple-like conversations about what side of the bed they need to sleep on, he becomes irritated by the lack of sleep.

The next day, Nellie asks Sam if he hates the retreat and states they can leave if he wants. He immediately asks if they can, and you can tell she’s slightly annoyed. In the car ride home, Nellie asks Sam about his music writing but he is vague with his answers. She thinks he is mad, but he insists that he wants the right conditions and makes a sly “privileged” comment again as he did on their second date.

Dante is continuing to struggle, with his old gang trying to persuade him to join them again but he resists. His mother says management won’t let them hire a convicted felon and that his shift that night as a line cook was temporary.

Dante takes it out on Sam, furious that he never told him about De’Andra. He asks De’Andra why she did not wait for him. Sam tries to calm him down, but he ends up throwing their food on the floor.

Dante knocks on his old house and a man answers who happens to be a doctor, and he checks his blood pressure. De’Andra shows up — it’s her place and the doctor is her husband. Dante acts like he does not know her and walks out.

It’s mash-up time in Soundtrack’s Track 3. Sam picks up Dante from De’Andra’s house and lectures him about his behavior. Irritated, Sam asks Dante to give up and go back to his old crew. Dante tells Sam that he needs to sort his life out and that Nellie was the only person who could help him. When Sam returns home, he rings Nellie’s voicemail and sings “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers, while Dante sings “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars.

In the past again, Sam apologizes to Nellie about his attitude over the weekend. He explains to her that his mother died six months after he left Berkley and his father blamed him. His mother was not happy that he had run away from the dream she had for him. Sam believes he is disappointing his mother. Nellie says her mother makes her feel that she is not good enough and states that expectations are not reality. Sam plays his song.

Soundtrack Season 1, Episode 3, “Track 3: Sam and Dante” finishes in the present day; Sam plays Dante a song and claims it is something he wrote a long time ago. Dante says it is nice to hear and Sam responds “it’s nice to have someone to play it for”. Dante finally gets offered a secure job and Sam goes to an interview to play his guitar at a studio.

You can read the recap of the fourth episode by clicking these words.

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